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Battleship histories. Royal naval battleship HMS Warspite. Battleship website dedicated to the history of HMS Warspite from launch to participation in major wars also notice board for families of ex-crew of HMS Warspite.

HMS WARSPITE was built at Devonport, Plymouth and launched 26th November 1913, Took part in  the Battle of Jutland. and sustained 15hits and was close to foundering. at the battle of Narvik in April 1940 HMS Warspite to part in the Battle of cape Matapan and in May 1941 took part in the battle of Crete, where is sustained damage by a heavy bomb hit. on the 16th September during the Landings at Salerno, she was hit by a German Glider bomb, she was towed to Gibraltar for temporary repairs and fully repaired at Rosyth in March 1944. In June 1944 she was deployed at Normandy with only three functioning main Turrets, she also took part in the bombardment of Brest, Le Havre and Walcheren. She was sold for Scrap in early 1947, and during the voyage to the Breakers she ran aground at Mounts Bay, and was broken up in situ over the following five years. 

HMS WARSPITE was built at Devonport, Plymouth and launched 26th November 1913, Took part in the Battle of Jutland. and sustained 15hits and was close to foundering. at the battle of Narvik in April 1940 HMS Warspite to part in the Battle of cape Matapan and in May 1941 took part in the battle of Crete, where is sustained damage by a heavy bomb hit. on the 16th September during the Landings at Salerno, she was hit by a German Glider bomb, she was towed to Gibraltar for temporary repairs and fully repaired at Rosyth in March 1944. In June 1944 she was deployed at Normandy with only three functioning main Turrets, she also took part in the bombardment of Brest, Le Havre and Walcheren. She was sold for Scrap in early 1947, and during the voyage to the Breakers she ran aground at Mounts Bay, and was broken up in situ over the following five years. 

(Photograph shows HMS Warspite, HMS Cardiff and HMS Ceres at Malta).

Displacement: 29,700   Speed: 23.0 knots   Compliment: 950 and up to 1,220 in 1918

Armament: Eight 15-inch guns in pairs and fourteen 6 -inch guns.  Two 3 inch Anti Aircraft Guns in 1917, two 4-inch anti aircraft guns.

HMS Warspite, 1918.

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HMS Warspite, 1913.

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HMS Warspite, 1924.

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HMS Warspite, 1934.

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HMS Warspite, 1934.

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HMS Warspite, 1934.

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HMS Warspite, 1934.

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HMS Warspite, 1934.

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HMS Warspite, 1934.

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HMS Warspite, 1939.

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HMS Warspite, August 1943.

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HMS Warspite being broken up at Prussia Cove, April 1949.

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HMS Warspite being broken up, Marazion, October 1952.

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HMS Warspite being broken up, Marazion, October 1952.

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HMS Warspite pictured c.1933.

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HMS Warspite

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HMS Warspite serving with the Mediterranean fleet

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HMS Warspite

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HMS Warspite on rocks near Penzance

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HMS Warspite

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HMS Warspite

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HMS Warspite

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HMS Warspite with HMS Barham, HMS Assistance and HMS Volunteer at Genoa, 1920's.

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HMS Warspite

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HMS Warspite.

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HMS Warspite.

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HMS Warspite.

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Crew of HMS Warspite at Malta, c.1930s.

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Charles and Horace Cave with family. One of these men served on HMS Warspite.

Crew members of HMS Warspite 1938Frederick Trudgett , extreme right. Photo supplied by Freda Lally, Frederick Trudgetts daughter.  

Group of crew members of shore leaveFrederick Trudgett, first sailor on left.  Photo supplied by Freda Lally, Frederick Trudgetts daughter.

Photos in this section generously contributed by Stephen Wyles, whose grandfather, George Wyles,  was the Diver aboard the Warspite until the Battle of Crete, where he lost a leg.  If you know any of the people in these photographs, please let us know at OUR MAIL BOX

Some of the crew at the bow of the Warspite.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

More crew of the Warpsite, George Wyles back middle.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Recovering after the Battle of Crete.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Recovering after the Battle of Crete.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Some crew of the Warspite, with George Wyles in the middle of the front row.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

George Wyles on the right.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

George Wyles - Navy diver of the Warspite.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

George Wyles and another of the crew of the Warspite.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

George Wyles recovering in hospital.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Some of the crew of the Warspite.  George Wyles kneeling, bottom right.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Crew of the Warspite recovering in hospital after the Battle of Crete.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

George Wyles with two shipmates of the Warspite.  George is in the middle.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

HMS Warspite at Malta.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Looking out from HMS Warspite.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Some of the crew of HMS Warspite.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

George Wyles and other crew of the Warspite thanking the nurses who helped them to recover after the Battle of Crete.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Some crew of the Warspite on deck.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Some of the crew of the Warspite at Narvik.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

 

The following is a poem which was found in the possessions of Thomas Samuel Austin by his son Ianthe Exall:

 

Have you ever heard of the “Warspite” and how she made her name,

How she smashed the German Army near the wide Catania Plain,

The Herman Goering Regiment was badly mauled that day,

When the “Warspite” used her 15”, for the Eight she cleared the way.

Then came the day of invasion, the 5th.on Italy’s soil,

Battled with desperation, their object nearly foiled,

By “Tiger Tanks” and Pancers, who were waiting, so it seemed,

When into the Bay of Salerno, the “Warspite” slowly steamed.

She swung around and waited until she got in range,

Then with a noise like thunder, her 15” spoke again.

We had our own observer, a captain of Royal Marines,

And he shouted with glee, only he could see

How the tide of the battle had changed.

There were tanks and troops together smashed up like they never had been,

More terrible wreckage and carnage never before had been seen.

General Clark of the gallant 5th. Army, there on the field

Thanked the ”Old Lady” in a signal, for the lives of his men she’d redeemed.

Then she did another bombardment at a standstill, to make her aim sure,

And the fall of the shell was perfect, no guns aim had ever been truer.

It must have been ‘hell’ for the Germans, as the shrapnel just blew them away,

Then a bomb came down from the heavens, it was 2000lbs. maybe more

And smashed right down by the funnel, we were only two miles from the shore.

Right down through her decks it travelled, a rocket bomb was its name,

We lost some good chums, all good shipmates, Hard luck, it was War it’s no game.

She shuddered and lurched as it struck her, for a minute she couldn’t be seen

As the debris shot up towards heaven, closely followed by white scalding steam.

We all thought the “Old Lady” was finished, a true blood, she proved it that day,

As the tugs raced out to her rescue, she lurched up again, to her keel.

Under tow she set out for Malta, for six days and nights at 4 knots,

And the lads did plenty of thinking, especially the wounded in cots,

T’was a nerve wracking strain for the lads there, true Britons they stuck to their guns,

And the engine room branch worked like Trojans, all spattered in oil, twas no fun.

Down thro the Straits of Messina, the “Old Lady” made her way,

We were all sure then that she’d make it,

That she’d live to fight on another day.

It’s all over now, we’re not sorry, to our homes we’re now on our way,

But I’ll always be proud of the “Warspite” , God Bless her, she once won the day.

Author Unknown


HMS Ramillies and HMS Warspite at Normandy by Anthony Saunders.


HMS Ramillies and HMS Warspite at Normandy by Anthony Saunders.

HMS Ramillies and Warspite manoeuvre into position off the coast of Normandy. The major battleships of the Home Fleet, with their massive guns which could deliver gunfire with pinpoint accuracy to 17 miles. they proved invaluable on the day of the biggest seaborne land invasion in history.
Item Code : DHM0536HMS Ramillies and HMS Warspite at Normandy by Anthony Saunders. - Editions Available
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Glory Days by David Shepherd.


Glory Days by David Shepherd.

HMS Queen Elizabeth coming out under full power in a stormy sea from Weymouth on exercise during the period between 1927 and 1934. She is followed by her sisters, HMS Warspite and HMS Royal Sovereign.
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HMS Royal Sovereign and HMS Warspite departing Malta by Ivan Berryman


HMS Royal Sovereign and HMS Warspite departing Malta by Ivan Berryman

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Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter by Ivan Berryman.


Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter by Ivan Berryman.

The potential value of aircraft at sea had been proven as early as the Battle of Jutland in 1916 and many experiments were undertaken to provide all significant warships with their own aircraft for spotting and reconnaissance purposes. One solution widely adopted was the fitting of flying-off platforms to the main guns, as demonstrated here, as a Sopwith 1½ strutter is launched from HMS Warspite in 1919.
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HMS Warspite, Shooting from the Hip by Randall Wilson.


HMS Warspite, Shooting from the Hip by Randall Wilson.

HMS Warspite is shown in action during the 2nd battle of Narvik, April 1940.
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The Battleship Warspite - Anatomy of the Ship by Ross Watton.


The Battleship Warspite - Anatomy of the Ship by Ross Watton.

The Anatomy of the Ship series provides documentation of individual ships and ship types. The books are illustrated with line drawings, both the conventional type of plan as well as explanatory views, with fully descriptive keys. These are supported by technical details and a record of the ships service history. HMS Warspite was arguably one of the finest capital ship designs of all time. Warspite and her four sister ships of the Queen Elizabeth class were the prototypes of the modern fast battleship, the ultimate development of the Dreadnought type. Warspite had one of the most active and successful fighting careers. Her service spanned two generations from Jutland in 1916, the last great surface engagement between battle fleets, where she received many hits, to the dawn of the missile age (she was badly damaged by a guided bomb in 1943) with battle honours that also included Narvik, Matapan and the D-Day landings. The Old Lady, as she was affectionately known during World War II, w.........


More Text...
Item Code : BK9212The Battleship Warspite - Anatomy of the Ship by Ross Watton. - Editions Available
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HMS Kelly by Robert Taylor.


HMS Kelly by Robert Taylor.

HMS Kelly leaving the Grand Harbour, Malta in 1941 with HMS Warspite in the background. HMS Kellys captain was Lord Mountbatten.
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HMS Warspite by Ivan Berryman.


HMS Warspite by Ivan Berryman.

Popularly known as The Old Lady, Warspite was launched on 26th November 1913 and was still fulfilling a crucial role at the end of World War II. Even after being paid off, she escaped being broken up by going aground at Mounts Bay whilst on tow to the breakers yard. During the two world wars, Warspite accumulated fourteen Battle Honours including Jutland May 1916. She is shown in company with HMS Royal Sovereign in the Mediterranean in May 1940 when she was Fleet Flag.
Item Code : DHM1481HMS Warspite by Ivan Berryman. - Editions Available
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Original painting by Ivan Berryman.
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HMS Barham leads the 5th Battle Squadon at Jutland by Anthony Saunders.


HMS Barham leads the 5th Battle Squadon at Jutland by Anthony Saunders.

The greatest naval battle of the First World War took place on the 31st of May and the 1st of June 1916, near the Danish province of Jutland. It was the first and only sea battle between the British and German fleets, and certainly proved to be the clash of the Titans that the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, had long planned. Decisive victory was claimed by both sides, but, desperately fought though it was, the outcome was indecisive. The Royal Navy suffered higher losses in both men and ships, but the German fleet never ventured out of harbour to seek battle again. During the daylight fighting HMS Barham, under Rear Admiral Evan-Thomas, lead the 5th Battle Squadron (Valiant, Warspite and Malaya) and is seen here at 4.50pm exchanging with Hippers battle-cruisers to the south.
Item Code : DHM1456HMS Barham leads the 5th Battle Squadon at Jutland by Anthony Saunders. - Editions Available
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Original painting by Anthony Saunders.
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 Depicting the No.19 Sqn Spitfire Mk.IIA of Flt Lt Walter Lawson attacking a a Bf.109 E-4 of JG.3 in the Summer of 1940. The final tally of Lawson before he was listed as missing in August 1941 was 6 confirmed, 1 shared, 3 probables and 1 damaged.  The Bf.109 shown here was flown by Oberleutnant Franz von Werra. He survived this encounter, but was shot down over Kent in September 1940.

Flt Lt Walter Lawson by Ivan Berryman. (GS)
Half Price! - £250.00
 Following the initial parachute drops at Maleme (West) and Canea (Middle) Group East, comprising of Fallschirmjager Regiment 1 and 2nd battalion FJR2, prepared for their descent on Crete. Charged with the capture of Heraklion and its aerodrome, their departure was postponed until late afternoon due to the repairs and refuelling needed for the returning Junker 52 transports.

The Second Wave, Greece, 20th May 1941 by David Pentland. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
Signed by Wallace McIntosh, an ex Lanc. rear gunner. Wallace has the distinction of holding the record for Bomber Command kills from the rear turret of Avro Lancaster EM-M LL973 standing at 8 confirmed kills.
Sunset Saviours by Robin Smith.
Half Price! - £95.00
 Flight Lieutenant Ian <i>Widge</i> Gleed is depicted in his personal Hurricane 1 P2798 (LK-A) of 87 Sqn shooting down a Messerschmitt Bf.110 on 15th August 1940.  Just visible beneath the cockpit of the Hurricane is his mascot, Figaro, shown kicking a swastika.  His aircraft was also easily identifiable by the red flash on its nose, a feature that was retained even when P2798 was painted all black for its night fighter role. Gleed scored many victories before being shot down and killed whilst flying a Spitfire Vc in the Western Desert in April 1943.

Tribute to Flt Lt Ian R Gleed by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £700.00

 A pair of De Havilland Mosquito NF. MkII night fighters of 23 Squadron, based at Bradwell Bay, Essex in 1942.

Night Raiders by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
Half Price! - £52.50
 On 31st August 1944, 6 Mosquitoes of 305 Polish Squadron, Lasham, 2nd TAF were led by Wing Commander Orlinski to attack oil refineries at Nomexy, south of Nancy, France. Diving down and releasing their bombs before escaping at tree top height they destroyed 4 large containers and several smaller ones. All aircraft safely returned after their four and a half hour sortie. Fl Lt Eric Atkins DFC(bar) KW(bar) and his navigator Fl Lt Majer can be seen exiting the area to reform on the other 3 Mosquitoes who have already finished their bombing run. This was Atkins 61st operation, finishing the war with 78 ops over 3 tours.

Mosquito Attack by Graeme Lothian. (Y)
Half Price! - £310.00
 With a final 47 victories to his credit, Robert Alexander Little was one of the highest-scoring British aces of World War 1, beginning his career with the famous No 8 (Naval) Squadron in 1916, flying Sopwith Pup N5182, as shown here. On 21st April 1917, he was attacked and shot down by six aircraft of Jasta Boelke, Little being thrown from the cockpit of his Sopwith Camel on impact with the ground. As the German aircraft swooped in to rake the wreckage with machine gun fire, Little pulled his Webley from its holster and began returning fire before being assisted by British infantry with their Lewis guns. Such was the character of this great pilot who finally met his death whilst attacking Gotha bombers on the night of 27th May 1918.

Captain Robert Little by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
Half Price! - £350.00
 US Air Force F15 Eagle over flys British Challenger Tank during the Gulf War.
Gulf Buddies by Geoff Lea.
Half Price! - £50.00

 

NAVAL PRINTS

Click above to see all of our naval art index - Eight random half price naval items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Naval Art Offers

Germanys U-boat fleet had almost brought Britain to its knees in the First World war, twenty years later the story was very similar. the German U-boat arm came perilously close to cutting the lifeline that crossed the Atlantic between North America and Britain. in the early years of the war Donitz realised that keeping his U-boats at sea for as long as possible would greatly increase their chances of success. here U-93 (left) and U-94 take fuel from the auxiliary cruiser Kormoran whilst in the mid-Atlantic during 1941

Dawn Rendezvous by Anthony Saunders (P)
Half Price! - £2900.00
The Pedestal Convoy of August 1942 was one of the most heavily protected convoys in the history of sea warfare.  Fourteen of the fastest cargo ships of the time were protected by 4 carriers, 2 battleships, 7 cruisers and 32 destroyers.  The destroyer HMS Ashanti is in the foreground of the painting.  Also depicted are the carrier HMS Indomitable, with her Hurricanes cirling the convoy overhead, and the cargoe ship Port Chalmers to the right of the picture.

Pedestal Convoy by Anthony Saunders (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
 In the early morning murk of 24th May 1941, the forward 15in guns of HMS Hood fire the first shots against the mighty German battleship Bismarck. Both Bismarck and her escort, the Prinz Eugen, immediately responded, the latter causing a fierce fire on Hoods upper deck, while plunging shot from Bismarck penetrated deep into the British ships hull, causing an explosion that ripped the Hood apart, sinking her in an instant. Tragically, just three survivors were rescued from the water.

HMS Hood Opens Fire Upon the Bismarck by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
Half Price! - £230.00
USS Yorktown seen accompanied by her destroyers including USS Hammann shown under attack by Japanese Torpedo Bombers (Kates) during the battle of Midway. It was in this action that USS Yorktown was lost.

USS Yorktown at the Battle of Midway by Anthony Saunders (P)
Half Price! - £3200.00

At 12.30pm on the 21st of October 1805, Admiral Lord Nelson on board his flagship, HMS Victory, breaks the line of the combined French and Spanish fleets.  The Victory is delivering a devastating stern rake to the 80 gun French ship Bucentaure, the flagship of the combined fleets, commanded by Vice-Admiral P. C. J. B. S. Villeneuve.  Starboard to the Victory is the 74 gun Redoutable.  This ship, the Victory and HMS Temeraire, seen left, became locked together soon after, the unequal exchange resulting in the Redoutable having the highest casualties during the entire battle.

Breaking the Line at the Battle of Trafalgar by Graeme Lothian. (AP)
Half Price! - £75.00
With the British Mediterranean Fleet riding at anchor in Grand  Harbour Malta, HMS  Majestic is shown preparing to leave harbour as local fisherman look on. 

Majestic Malta by Randall Wilson (AP)
Half Price! - £75.00
 Royal Fleet Auxiliary Olna prepares to receive HMS Active (F171) during the Falklands campaign of 1982.  HMS Coventry (D118) is in the background
RFA Olna by Ivan Berryman (P)
Half Price! - £625.00
February 1942 and Viz. Admiral Ciliaxs mighty Scharnhorst leads her sister Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen up the English Channel during Operation Cerberus, their daring breakout from the port of Brest on the French Atlantic coast to the relative safety of Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuttel. All three ships survived what became known as the Channel Dash, not without damage, but the operation proved a huge propaganda success for Germany and a crushing embarrassment for the British. A number of torpedo boats are in attendance, including Kondor and Falke and the Z class destroyer Friedrich Ihn in the distance.

Operation Cerberus, Channel Dash by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £15.00

 

MILITARY PRINTS

Click above to see all of our military art index - Eight random half price military items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Military Art Offers

 Depicting Captain Lindsay of the Scots Guards advancing with the colours which were shot through and staff broken. By this example he helped to restore order after a Russian onslaught had put the regiment in disorder.

Scots Guards Saving the Colours at Alma by Lady Elizabeth Butler (Y)
Half Price! - £30.00
 The Battle of Solferino, fought on 24th of June 1859 was the last battle at which both armies were commanded by their monarch; the French army commanded by Napoleon III and his Allies Victor Emmanuel II and his Sardinian Army were victorious over the Austrian Army commanded by Emperor Franz Joseph.
Napoleon III at Solferino by Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier. (Y)
Half Price! - £30.00
DHM709.  Men of the United States Navy During the Battle of Lake Erie 1813 by Chris Collingwood.

Men of the United States Navy During the Battle of Lake Erie 1813 by Chris Collingwood.
Half Price! - £45.00
 Commandos of 1st Special Service Brigade, led by Lord Lovat, are piped past the defenders of the Caen canal (Pegasus) bridge by piper Bill Millin. The bridge was originally taken in a coup de main attack by the gliders of 6th Airborne Divisions D Company, 2nd battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, led by Major John Howard earlier that morning. Shortly afterwards the glider troops were reinforced by 7 Parachute Battalion, and together they held the area against German attacks until the main British forces landing at Sword beach could fight through to join them.

Piper Bill, Pegasus Bridge, Normandy, 13.00hrs, 6th June 1944 by David Pentland. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00

Shows the Buffs resolute defense of the colours. By incredible heroism, the colours remained intact but only 85 out of the 728 Buffs survived the battle (16th May 1811)

Battle of Albuhera by William Barnes Wollen.
Half Price! - £25.00
  This oil study shows Captain Wombwell engaging the 1st Ural Cossacks behind the Russian artillery. This was the oil study for a larger project which was not completed.
17th Lancers During the Charge of the Light Brigade by Mark Churms. (P)
Half Price! - £650.00
 In his 50s with 30 years experience, who has now attained High Centurian rank and commands the entire 1st Cohort.

Primus Pilus by Chris Collingwood. (GS)
Half Price! - £280.00
 Depicting Napoleon overlooking the arrival of the Guard Horse Artillery.

Arrival of the Horse Artillery at Eylau by Benigni. (Y)
Half Price! - £25.00

 

SPORT PRINTS

Click above to see all of our sport art index - Eight random half price sport items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Sport Art Offers

 The legendary Welsh rugby union captain Gareth Edwards is brought to life in the triple portrait. Gareth Edwards is revered in Wales and considered one of the finest players ever. in part of the montage he is shown going over for a try against England.
Gareth Edwards by Darren Baker. (AP)
Half Price! - £150.00
 Ferrari Pit Stop 2001.
Masters of Strategy II by Michael Thompson.
Half Price! - £33.00
FAR695.  Tribute to Lester Piggott by Stuart McIntyre.

Tribute to Lester Piggott by Stuart McIntyre.
Half Price! - £20.00
FAR1007. Hodgson at Speed by Derrick Mark.
Hodgson at Speed by Derrick Mark.
Half Price! - £25.00

 The Welsh Six Nations Grand Slam of 2005 is completed as Wales beat Ireland in their final game. <br>Results : Cardiff, 5th February : Wales 11 - 9 England<br>Rome, 12th February : Italy 8 - 38 Wales<br>Paris, 26th February : France 18 - 24 Wales<br>Edinburgh, 13th March : Scotland 22 - 46 Wales<br>Cardiff, 19th March : Wales 32 - 20 Ireland.

Grand Slam 2005 by James Owen. (Y)
Half Price! - £60.00
Neil Hodgson puts in 100% to achieve Pole Position, his 1st Double Win, the 1st Win for the Ducati 999 and the race and lap record at Valencia, March 2003.
One Hundred Percent by Dave Foord.
Half Price! - £130.00
 It was Saturday 4th May 2002, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.  Wonderful goals by Ray Parlour and Freddie Ljungberg for Arsenal were too much for their London rivals Chelsea to capture the FA Cup.  Four days later, on Wednesday 8th, Arsenal rode into Old Trafford.  This time a goal by Sylvain Wiltord on his 100th appearance for the club was enough for Arsene Wenger's team to overcome Manchester United and clinch the Premiership title, maintaining a record of scoring in every league game of the season.  For the second time in four years under their long-serving and inspirational captain Tony Adams, Arsenal had performed the classic double of English football, the third in their history making 2001-02, a season never to be forgotten.

The Double 2001 / 2002 by Gary Keane. (Y)
Half Price! - £65.00
 Colin Edwards gave Honda racing another victory with an inspired performance during the last race of the season to put rival Troy Bayliss into second place. Bobs painting depicts the typically-aggressive cornering style of the Texas Tornado in his winning leathers as he threw the mighty Honda around the Imola racing circuit.

Down to the Wire by Robert Tomlin.
Half Price! - £60.00

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